Sunday, December 30, 2012

Favourite 86/FR-S/BRZ builds of 2012

There’s no doubt that the Toyota 86/Scion FR-S/Subaru BRZ has been the most talked about new car of 2012! I've been following (and drooling) over so many rad 86 builds this year, so I thought I'd put together a little post of my favourite 86/FR-S/BRZ cars and the reasons why I like them!

10. The NAC Insurance/Performance Car Toyota 86 - New Zealand

I think that the NAC/Performance Car 86 deserves a special mention in here, mainly because it's the coolest looking 86 in New Zealand so far! The team at NZPC chose to spoil the 86 with a huge selection of aftermarket goodies; they've added a TRD front lip, side skirts and spoiler, Enkei wheels and Cusco coilovers - the list goes on. But the best part is that NAC are cool enough to actually give the car away to someone next year! Best. Prize. Ever.

Photo by Rod Chong for Speedhunters

9. Fredric Aasbo's Toyota '86-X' - Norway

Dubbed 'Project 86X', Fredric's car (backed by Toyota Norway and Speedhunters) was the world's first 2JZ-powered GT86 drift car, and also the first to wear the highly anticipated Rocket Bunny kit for the new chassis! Everything about the car screams functionality, but with the rad competition livery, wide-body kit and super low offset wheels it looks so sinister out on the track too! Overall I think it has a really good balance of style and function.

Photo by David Do for Mayday Garage

8. Chris Basselgia's bagged Scion FR-S - USA

Winner of the Scion FR-S Tuner Challenge at SEMA this year, Chris Basselgia's 'mint chocolate chip' FR-S didn't stand out to me at first, but when I saw a full feature of the car online I began to appreciate it for all the attention to detail that has gone into it. I'll also admit that at first I thought the 19-inch Rotiform SNA wheels looked too big, but they've grown on me. The fact that it runs a custom one-off Eaton based supercharger is also pretty rad. Check out the feature here on Mayday Garage - the combination of stunning photography and that killer spec-list is awesome!

Photo by Mike Burroughs for StanceWorks

7. Ken Gushi's Scion FR-S - USA

Ken Gushi's turbocharged GReddy/Scion Racing FR-S looks so good sideways and I've really enjoyed watching coverage of the car competing in this year's Formula D battles. I love the livery and the Rays Gram Lights, plus the Cosworth-built Subaru EJ25 makes around 600hp, which is just a bit more impressive than your standard 4UGSE! I'm excited to see his car in person next year when we check out the first round of Formula D in Long  Beach!

Photo by Noel Barnum for Canibeat

6. Noel Barnum's bagged Scion FR-S - USA

From here onwards it's really hard for me to decide which of these cars I like the most! But something about Noel Barnum's FR-S is just so drool-worthy I have to include it as #6! To be more specific, I just think this is such a great example of how good these cars can look with a few simple changes. A 5Axis aero kit enhances the lines of the body of the car nicely, and the gold SSR reverse Formula Mesh wheels contrast so well against the red paint. I'd love to know the actual wheels specs(?) but personally I think they are the perfect size and offset - god it looks good when the car is aired out! I really love the Formula Mesh wheels, but Noel has since upgraded to a new wheel set-up which is also pretty sick - check it out here!

Photo by Andrew Ritter for StanceWorks

5. The Rotiform Scion FR-S - USA

Rotiform was quick to hop on the FR-S bandwagon to woo at SEMA with their impression of how the new chassis should look and more importantly, how it should sit. Their bagged version of the FR-S definitely has the most on-point fitment I've seen! Their beautiful 18x9.5 and 18x10.5-inch TMB wheels are such a good match for the ZN6 chassis - it's cool just how many different styles of wheels look so good on these cars! A 3M wrap in a matte metallic blue gives the FR-S even more of a unique look, and they've even taken it a step further and added a Vortech supercharger kit to give the car a bit of extra oomph from under the hood too. 

Photo from Garage FR-S

4. The Garage FR-S build - USA

 A collaborative project by the staff at Import Tuner, Modified and Superstreet magazines, the Garage FR-S build definitely stands out to me with it's aggressive stance and all-round awesomeness. I'm not shy to hide the fact that I love the Rocket Bunny kit on these cars and you'll see that my Top 4 are all wearing TRA Kyoto. The other weird thing that I just realised while writing this is that my favourite cars that I've chosen also all wear the trunk-mounted GT-wing (this is an optional extra with the kit), which is weird because I've never been a fan of big wings, but I don't think that any of these cars would look as good without them! I think it's because the style of the wing with the brackets and exposed bolts of the trunk looks so aggressive and works with the overall theme of the body kit so well.

But back to this particular car, I love the custom British Racing Green paint because it's such an unusual choice, and the 3-piece forged BBS E88 wheels look super tough wrapped in full slicks. It also now runs an HKS GT Supercharger kit too, which is pretty bad-ass!

Photos from Fatlace

3. The Fatlace Scion FR-S - USA

Fatlace never disappoint when they set out to build a project car, and their Scion FR-S build is definitely no exception! I really like how this car and their BenSopra GT-R wore matching livery for SEMA and again I love the Rocket Bunny kit, with those big Rays TE37SLs with full slicks sticking out from under the fenders. So tough! The FR-S also features a Vortex Supercharger and special edition Illest x Bride seats.

And in case you hadn't seen it without the livery, here is a quick photo. Wow!

Photo by Alexi for NoriYaro

2. Imai-san's Subaru BRZ (BeeR) - Japan

It took me a little while to realise that this yellow Rocket Bunny BRZ was in fact the same car that I'd seen in this video back when it was blue with the black fenders. The ZC6 is owned and driven by Imai-san of BeeR (Power Builder Bee Racing) in Japan, and is his personal ongoing drift car project. The BRZ now has a new striking yellow paint job and an 86-front end swap - make sure to click the link the video if you haven't already watched it as it explains a bit more about the build. I can’t wait to see footage of this car getting sideways on the racing circuits in Japan!

Photo by Luke Huxham for Maiham Media

A quick photo of the BRZ pre-yellow paint. Uhhhhh.

Photo by Dino Dalle Carbonare for Speedhunters

1. Miura-san's Scion FR-S (Rocket Bunny) - Japan

The weird thing is, this FR-S is perhaps the least modified car out of my choices. But this car isn't my favourite because of how long and impressive its spec-list is, it's more the feeling that it gives me. You must know what I mean - that warm, fuzzy feeling when you see a car that you really love. I don't know what to call it! Just check out this video and perhaps you might feel it too. The concave Enkei RS05RRs look so good with the aggressive Bunny kit, and I love the detailing on the sides of the big wing too. But maybe the coolest thing is that the street-registered FR-S is owned by Kei Miura himself, the man behind TRA Kyoto and Rocket Bunny. I think that perhaps this is another reason why I have so much respect for this particular FR-S. I can only imagine the presence that this car has in real life, and I am hoping (like, soooooo bad) that I might get the chance to see it for myself in Japan next year.

I hope you've enjoyed reading my opinions on what I think to be the coolest 86s from around the world! I'd love to know which 86/FR-S/BRZ build you love and why, so feel free to drop a comment!

- Taryn x

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Summer is here!


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Goodbye EFI, hello carbs!

Now that we have the exterior of our Z project looking the part, the time has come to address a few other problems that need fixing before we can get the car certified and road legal. Although the L28 was running prior to its stay at GT Refinishers earlier this month, unfortunately it failed to start once it was parked back up in the garage! The ancient Bosch Jetronic fuel injection system had given us problems before, and it looked like it was doing it again - the more we looked into diagnosing the problem, the more tired and broken parts we kept finding. Would it even be worth fixing? After all a cert plate shows either fuel injection or carb, and we were also always planning on switching to triple carbs and a high-compression motor rebuild next year. If we got the car certified now we would have to get it re-certified again (in theory, anyway) when we did this. It suddenly made a lot more sense to switch to carbs now rather than later, to get the engine running again (reliably!) and save us money down the track.

After a bit of research, it seemed like early round top twin SU carbs would be the way to go for now, and thankfully our friend Mikey had just pulled out a set when he took the L24 out of his 240z, and agreed to sell them to us. It was a pretty simple switch over - gaskets, fuel pump, fuel filter and a few other bits and pieces. Though the aftermarket headers we already had were hitting the bottom of the carbs to start with, amongst a few other issues.

It's amazing that the manifolds and carbs bolt straight up and after a bit of messing round with a few bizarre problems (a sensor in the airflow meter tells the fuel pump to run, for example!) it fired straight up.

A quick drive around the block showed that it both idles and drives perfectly fine, which seems crazy! We will get the carbs tuned properly of course once the car is back on the road to make sure it's not running too lean, but for now, we're just happy it's moveable!